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Monday June 20, 2005 4:25 pm

Pac-Pix Nintendo DS Review

Pac-Pix

With so many people split on whether the Nintendo DS is a good system or not, one has to take a deeper look to see what all the fuss is about. The fact is, many compare the DS to the PSP, and based off of that comparison, say that the DS sucks. It just isn’t true. Once you get past the eye candy, it comes down to the software. Pac-Pix is an example of a game that can only be done on the DS, as well as an example of the ingenious ways to use the touch screen when a developer puts their mind to it. Check out our full review after the jump.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS


So, you take a look at the Pac-Pix box, and it is immediately intriguing. The way Pac-Pix is played is that you have an open field with different ghosts floating around along with different puzzles integrated onto the board. Instead of navigating Pac-Man through a maze like in the days of old, you now draw your own Pac-Man using the DS stylus. Once drawn, your drawing comes to life and starts heading in the direction in which you drew him. The fact that the game is completely stylus based has its allure, as it will truly showcase the unique properties of the Nintendo DS.

Pac-Pix


GAMEPLAY


Jumping right in to the Pac-Pix game was simple, and fun. The levels are split into chapters, which is really just a cute excuse for them to use a photo album as the premise for the game. Each chapter has a few pages in it, each of which is part of the level. As you progress, different types of ghosts are added. The ghosts I have come across so far are:

Pink: Moves slowly
Blue: Moves faster, can dodge your first attempt at eating it.
White: Can teleport when you come near it.
Purple: Has a shield over its front, must be taken down from the back.
Yellow: Drops colored paint onto the canvas, limiting the area in which you can draw

When drawing Pac-Man, you can draw him as large or as small as you wish. The larger you draw him, the slower he will move – but the more he will eat when he happens upon an enemy. Once Pac-Man starts heading off in a direction, you can draw lines, or walls, for him to bump into which will change his course depending on the direction the line was drawn. For example, if Pac-Man is heading toward the top of the screen, you can draw a line from the left to the right. Once he hits it, he will turn right.

Pac-Pix


The other thing is that you can have as many Pac-Man’s on screen as you can manage, within the limit. So if you want to have two or three going at once, go for it. One thing to remember is that each page has a limit to the number of Pac-Men you are allowed to draw. So if the limit is 6, and your sixth Pac-Man goes off screen – you lose. There is also a time limit, and a finite number of ghosts on each page as well. It can get quite frantic when you only have ten seconds left, and there are two white ghosts teleporting all over the place.

As you progress, you pick up more actions that you can use to draw. For example, in later levels you can draw an arrow to knock down enemies floating in bubbles on the top screen. The dual-screen works very well on a game like this, with the top screen containing a tunnel that Pac-Man would use to catch enemies, or get items like fruit or one-ups.

FINAL VERDICT


Pac-Pix Review Score Pac-Pix is a Nintendo DS game done right. It may not be the most visually appealing handheld game on the market, but it has one thing definitely going for it – this game is FUN. The replay value is there as well, as you receive a letter grade along with your score at the end of each level. The game will have you coming back trying to score straight A’s on a run through the game. It also gives you an experience that you just won’t find anywhere else – including the Sony PSP. It is games like these that make owning both the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS a delight.

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Comments:

This game sounds cool.  I like the idea.

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